At the beginning of the week Scottie had a visit from the saddler. Despite how important I believe it is to regularly check your saddle, what with my knee injury and then Scottie’s injury, he had had so much time off but hadn’t seemed to have lost any muscle, that it had been over a year since our saddler last saw us.
Last time she did see us, the takeaway message was that our saddle fit him well, although sat much lower to his withers than she would like. Since it wasn’t causing him any obvious pain/discomfort, she said we will stick with it and see how it goes.
I am pleased to say that this is still pretty much the case. The saddle isn’t sitting to the right as much as it was, and Scottie has built up a bit more muscle on the right hand side too, which will help this. She also thinks that a lot of why the saddle is slipping now is due to how Scottie carries himself and how he puts it slightly to the right. But this is something we will likely have in every saddle until he gets a bit stronger.
Our saddler had a trainee with her for her visit, so they talked through everything in a lot of detail, which was really interesting. They spoke about how because he is so high withered, you would by tempted to put X type of tree on him. But then when you look at how much higher his back end is to where the point of the saddle sits, lots of high withered trees wouldn’t accommodate for this. They also spoke about how certain makes would fit his curviness and the steep slope they spoke about, but because of how long his withers go back for, they wouldn’t fit him there.
We also spoke about times where a saddle has ticked all the boxes and looks like it fits him perfectly, but when you get on he hunches up and is extremely uncomfortable. So it was interesting to talk about how it’s not just about how well it fits on paper, but also the rider’s feedback and the history of the horse.
Our saddler very much takes the view of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Our saddle doesn’t fit perfectly, but it isn’t causing him any discomfort and there’s a reasonable chance we could find a saddle which did fit him better but he wouldn’t like it. So in the meantime we are going to continue to carry on and see how it goes with regular check ups from the back lady and saddler.